I DO care about my site. I love it, and I am glad that our interactive swashbuckling story is already eight years old, and counting, and that I can also count on a few people since six- eight years ago. This is an important achievement.
BUT I DON'T CARE ANYMORE if some people think it's not active enough (it is, just way slower than it used to be). I don't care if those newer members decide suddenly a long time investment isn't worth and they leave. I had to accept the idea that these are who we are, this is our current rhythm and that we won't get new staying members unless our members bring their friends, to stay for writing with them. (Which they don't, because most of our members don't have friends interested in our setting, or writing - at all or in English). And when I see on the resource sites all ask for "active sites, not dying ones"... and that slow = dying for most people, I get angry. We aren't dying, even if our story is progressing way slower than a few years ago. Just that we have other commitments or health problems which don't allow us be as prompt as we used to be. Our main quality is of being reliable. We finish most threads we start (no matter when, but we do). Our story is coherent and consistent, and progressing.
I let it lower with the advertising, knowing that I have to resign with the few members we have and with some of them quitting due to lack of interest, to the site being slower and slower and being able to do nothing to change it. All the advice on the resource sites are things I have tried in vain, one or another time. This is who we are, and I don't care if someone thinks it's a dead site, when we know we aren't. Just posting once at 2-3 weeks on average. We are welcoming. There is always a possibility to interact with a character or another, given that we are writing in liquid time. As for events... it's normal that some plots are for certain factions (nobility only, commoners only, seafarers only). On most sites it is the same. We are also flexible and willing to integrate anyone. The problem is that most people want replies at least every week, if not sooner, and only 2-3 people might be able to post as quickly.
We aren't playing pretend with our characters, and this is also one reason to find less new members interested. Historical fiction is a niche, and there aren't many people who like doing research. In my opinion, the coherence of the plot is a bonus, it is something good, but others might not like that they have to... pay attention (even if it is required for any writer! ). Also I am shocked how little creative are most people. When I ask them, upon joining, "What stories do you feel more inspired to write? What stories have you created this character for?" the reply is usually a variant of "I don't know, anything". (which means "you think it for me, and I am just riding along... or not even).
I used to believe that I, as administrator, have to be an example, to promote the activity I want to see. Now I don't care anymore about it. There had been too many years when I did it, without any result. I mean, I can control only my activity, and "activity begets activity" is not always true. People will post when they have time. And no matter how many replies are piling up into the OWED section, they would reply only when they are available. I learnt it the hard way.
Lately I am in the same situation, having lowered my activity significantly, just because I can't do it as I used to, anymore. I am not flaky, and I still am going to finish everything I started, but it will take more time. I just have difficulty writing lately. Having half a day taken out and returning home unusually tired and mentally exhausted doesn't help. Having to spend some of the other part of the day cooking, shopping for our household or attending literary events adds to the lack of time for writing. And I have to split my writing between novels (and short fiction too, especially for certain contests) and the two RPG sites I am on. So... I do what I can. There are days when I can't write at all, and days when I can do only one writing thing (usually correcting/ editing what was already written). I don't care anymore if I don't meet self-imposed deadlines, because I simply can't.
Sometimes I think (I might be wrong or I might be right) that if I was somewhere in the countryside, so that I could write outside, and have no other daily worry, I would succeed to do it. But as I can't go anywhere, that's only an excuse . Or a dream.